What America Thinks: Recent Polling Highlights Public Opinion on Mueller Report, Trump, Gun Control and more…

April 5, 2019 admin 0 Comments

Below is a portrait of key insights from public polls released during the month of March. We did not include any findings related to the 2020 election but have something in the works to provide a snapshot into these early polls.

MUELLER REPORT

A burst of polls have been released following the Mueller report being delivered to the Attorney General. In every instance, strong majorities of Americans express a desire for the full report to be made public.

  • A majority (56%) of Americans say the President and his campaign have not been exonerated of collusion, but that what they’ve heard or read about the report shows collusion could not be proven. Fewer, 43%, say Trump and his team have been exonerated of collusion (CNN).
  • Two-thirds of Americans (66%) think Mueller’s full report should be released to the public while 21% think only a summary of Mueller’s report prepared by the Attorney General should be released to the public, and only 9% believe the report should not be released to the public and should be kept confidential (NBC/WSJ).
  • Eight-in-ten (80%) voters think the public should get to see Mueller’s report on the probe — which more consider “a legitimate investigation into an important issue” rather than “a bogus attempt to undermine Trump’s presidency” (49% and 39%, respectively) (Fox News).
  • Another poll finds that more than three-in-four Americans, including majorities of both Republicans and Democrats, think the full Mueller report should be released to the public. But the partisan splits that have long marked the investigation remain even after it is done (CBS News).
  • Republicans say the report has cleared the president. Democrats are unconvinced and want their party in Congress to continue looking into the Russia matter, though most Americans overall feel they should drop it (CBS News).
  • Over two-in-five (62%) Americans think it is very important that the Justice Department release to the public all of the report being submitted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller (Suffolk/USA Today).
  • A little more than half of Americans (55%) say Mueller conducted a “fair” investigation, while 26% say it was not fair (Quinnipiac).
  • When asked whether or not they believed President Trump tried to impede or obstruct the Mueller investigation, 58% of Americans believe he did, while 40% do not believe so (AP-NORC).

PRESIDENT TRUMP

If there’s one thing that’s been consistent about President Trump’s time in office, it’s his approval rating.

  • Despite the seemingly constant clangor from the White House and Washington, D.C., President Trump’s approval ratings remain incredibly steady. Half of his approval polls have fallen with a band of 5 points, between 39 percent and 44 percent. Only President Barack Obama rivaled that narrow range, while every other president back to Harry Truman saw wider ranges, and in many cases much wider. (FiveThirtyEight)
  • Only three-in-ten Americans (29%) think that any new information could come out about Trump that would significantly change public views of him, while two-in-three (67%) feel that people are set in their opinions regardless of what new information may come out (Monmouth).
  • Among millennials, only 10% believe President Trump is a good role model for children, while the overwhelming majority (88%) do not believe so (Quinnipiac).

BORDER WALL

The president’s declaration of a national emergency in order to use military funding to build a border wall has not been well received, especially among Democrats and Independents.

  • Just one-third of Americans (33%) approve of the president’s declaration of a national emergency in order to use military funding to build a border wall. Nearly twice as many (65%) disapprove of this move (Monmouth).
  • Most Republicans (73%) support the president using emergency powers to build the wall, while nearly all Democrats (93%) and most independents (71%) are opposed.

ECONOMY & TRADE

Views of the economy are very optimistic and views on trade have become increasingly positive in recent years.

  • Over seven-in-ten Americans rate economic conditions in our country today as good, while 27% rate economic conditions as poor (CNN).
  • Americans are split on their sentiments about the future of the economy, with slightly more thinking the economy is on the wrong track (47%) than the right track (41%) (Harvard-Harris).
  • A majority of Americans (60%) do not think the economic news reported accurately reflects the reality of the economy for average Americans (Quinnipiac).
  • Three-fourths of Americans (75%) feel optimistic about their financial future, while 19% are pessimistic (Quinnipiac).
  • Americans tilt toward the belief that trade with other countries has a positive (51%) rather than a negative (42%) effect on jobs for U.S. workers (Gallup).
  • Americans’ broad perspective on trade has become increasingly positive in recent years. This year, 74% say they view trade more as an opportunity for economic growth than as a threat to the U.S. economy from imports — the highest Gallup has measured to date by two percentage points. As recently as 2012, Americans were divided on this question, and in 2008 the majority viewed trade as more of a threat than an opportunity (Gallup).

TAXES

Two weeks out from taxes being due and Americans think their taxes are too high and Americans are most concerned that the rich aren’t paying enough.

  • Voters’ top tax concern isn’t how much they pay. Instead, — they are most concerned about the rich not paying enough (34%) and the way the government spends the money (28%) (Fox News). Compared to 2014, the last time the question was asked, there are more voters who are troubled that the rich aren’t paying enough (+6 points).
  • Just over half (55%) of voters think their taxes are “too high” and 37% say their tax bill is “about right” while 3% think they pay too little (Fox News).
  • The number of Democrats who say their taxes are too high is 59%. It was 49% in 2018 and 45% in 2017, which is a 14-point increase since Trump won.
  • An even bigger swing has happened among Republicans, in the opposite direction. Seven-in-ten (68%) said their taxes were too high in 2017 and 59% said the same in 2018, while 50% currently feel that way. That’s an 18-point drop since their candidate won.
  • Three-quarters (74%) of Americans overall, and over half of Republicans (54%), believe that generally the president of the United States should be required to release his or her tax returns (Fox News).

ENERGY & THE ENVIRONMENT

  • Forty years after Three Mile Island, Americans are split on the use of nuclear power as a U.S. energy source. Almost half (49%) of U.S. adults favor the use of nuclear energy to generate electricity, while 49% oppose its use. (Gallup).
  • Roughly equal percentages of Americans say nuclear power plants are safe (47%) and not safe (49%) (Gallup). This is the first time in Gallup’s 10-year trend on this question that a plurality of Americans have considered nuclear power unsafe.
  • Two-thirds (66%) of U.S. adults say they believe global warming is caused by pollution from human activities, rather than natural changes in the environment. Similarly, 65% perceive that most scientists believe global warming is occurring, 59% believe the effects of global warming have already begun, and another 13% believe it will happen within their lifetime (Gallup).
  • Despite these views, fewer than half of Americans (45%) think global warming will pose a serious threat in their own lifetime and 44% say they worry a great deal about it (Gallup).
  • Just over four in ten (42%) think the news underestimates the seriousness of global warming, while 22% think the news gets it about right and 35% think it exaggerates the problem (Gallup).
  • Most Americans support the general idea of dramatically reducing the country’s use of fossil fuels over the next two decades as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change. Six-in-ten U.S. adults say they would favor policies with this energy goal, while fewer than four in ten say they would oppose them (Gallup).
  • The vast majority of Americans want to see more emphasis placed on the production of green energy sources, specifically solar power (80%) and wind (70%) (Gallup).
  • While Americans support efforts to reduce fossil fuel usage, they are mixed in their views on how environmental and energy laws designed to reduce global warming will affect the U.S. economy. By 41% to 37%, slightly more believe such laws will definitely or probably hurt the economy rather than help it. Just 19% say such environmental and energy laws will have no economic effect (Gallup).

HEALTH CARE

  • Nine years since the passing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the American public still holds largely partisan views over the health reform law. Half of the public hold favorable opinions of the ACA, including eight-in-ten Democrats, nearly half of independents (45%), and about one-fifth of Republicans (17%). About four-in-ten (39%) of the public overall hold a negative opinion of the law including three-fourths of Republicans, four-in-ten independents (41%), and one-in-ten Democrats (Kaiser Family Foundation).
  • While Democrats are more likely than Republicans and independents to hold a favorable view of the ACA, Democrats are evenly divided on their views of whether they think Congress should focus on the ACA or on passing a national Medicare-for-all plan. When asked to choose, similar shares of Democrats say they would rather Democrats in Congress focus their efforts on “improving and protecting the ACA” (44%) as say they would rather Congress focus on “passing a national Medicare-for-all plan” (46%) (Kaiser Family Foundation).

GUN CONTROL

  • About two-thirds of Americans think gun laws should be at least or somewhat more strict than they already are (AP-NORC).
  • While many Americans are in favor of requiring background checks on all potential gun buyers (83%) and preventing mentally ill people from purchasing guns (84%), fewer want to ban the sale of AR-15 rifles and similar semiautomatic weapons (60%) (AP-NORC).
  • Over half of Americans (58%) believe there would be fewer mass shootings if it was harder for people to legally obtain guns in the United States (AP-NORC).

ICYMI

  • Eight-in-ten (80%) CEOs say it is “somewhat” or “very” important for Congress to enact a national consumer privacy law (Business Roundtable).
  • Four-in-ten (42%) Americans think that government regulation of big technology companies should go farther, while 35% think it is fine as it is and 17% say that it currently goes too far (CNN).
  • Six-in-ten (60%) Americans endorse legalized gambling on professional sports in their state, but only 42% approve of betting legally on college sports (AP-NORC).

 

By Chris Gallup,  Director at KRC Research and Weber Shandwick Washington

 

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